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I HATE Pre-MED!!! Please help ME!

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by JJameson, Apr 22, 2010.

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  1. JJameson

    JJameson

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    Ok, so here is the story I am first generation ObamaHealth Realist. If the past several months have done one thing for me, they have drastically opened my eyes. I've been on SDN for a while, but always on the other side. I couldn't post with my usual avatar, bc. if a pre-allo saw it they would think I was a traitor and all my respect would be lost.

    So I don't want to be pre-med any more, I want to go into dentistry. Money and lifestyle have always been high on my perogatives, and frankly I feel doctors will take a huge hit with reimbursements. The beauty of dentistry is that you are above the damn government and its stupid regulations and can charge whatever you like. I want this freedom. Please do not judge me condescendingly as I want to be a health provider just like all of us here on this site, but I believe in free market and the opportunities of America, things that are getting crushed on the other side. I am not a troll, in fact very far from it and well respected on the pre-allo side as noted before.

    So can you please help me and let me know what I need to do as I am totally lost, my whole academic career has been paved around med school and I don't know where to begin for dentistry school.

    Here's what I have to work with:

    sGPA: 3.93
    overall: 3.95

    MCAT: 34 (I know I have to take DAT, and I will do so as much of the MCAT material is still fresh in my head)

    Awards:
    Truman--semifinalist...one of the 2 most prestigous awards in the country to students
    Goldwater---the other most prestigous award in the US

    Research: 4 years with full summer internships from the NIH; presented at Science AAAS and another national conference, submitted paper in Molecular Biology....again was a Goldwater scholar

    EC:
    All medically related: overseas and local volunteering. Very strong except all hospital based.

    MY BIGGEST WEAKNESS : I have never shadowed a dentist. I have over 800 volunteer hours in a medical setting but none in a dentistry clinic.

    1) What can I do to make it in this cycle?
    2) Can I apply to both MD and Dentistry schools--say I apply to UMICH med school, can I also apply to their dentistry school?
    3) Can I list ECs that are medically based?
    4) If I do well on the DAT do I stand a chance at any schools, I just checked and there are 2 state schools.

    I know I am rushing it, but it really is a last minute change of plans as I realized I won't be happy in medicine any more.

    Thanks, and please try not to be too judgemental like the pre-allo on this site
  2. 12345a

    12345a

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    You'll be find for a top notch dental school if you can perform on the DAT like you did on the MCAT. What you need to do now, and you need to do fast is get some dental related activities and shadowing.

    Bare minimum, spend a lot of time at one dentists office (a GP would probably be best)...if you can manage two, even better. Get to know them well and make sure to get top notch LOR's from them.

    Show that you're really committed to dentistry by getting involved in some dental volunteering like "give a kid a smile day" or something along those lines. Nothing too intense b/c you probably have a lot of clinical experience as a pre-med in a hospital setting (and with those EC's there's no need to do more).

    Getting into dental schools shouldn't be too much of an issue if you can manage a 20+ on the DAT (w/ a 34 MCAT it should be no problem) so UMich shouldn't be much of a concern (in state?)

    You're irrational fear of being thought of as a "traitor" on SDN (an anonymous forum), losing "respect" here :laugh:, and the fact that you're changing careers based on something that you can't understand will jive perfectly with the crazy teabaggers :)D lol queer name right?) shows me that you're a bright, intelligent young man who's ready to reach his potential and be the envy of all his friends by becoming a.... dentist!

    Best of luck.
  3. Efil4zaggin

    Efil4zaggin

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    Shadowing is overrated....just get 20+ on the DAT and you're set.

    If it were really important, they would have you verify it. Only Tufts is a hard ass about verifying shadowing...
  4. alanan84

    alanan84 D1

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    Shadowing a lot is overrated, maybe... Shadowing in and of itself however is necessary. Here's why:

    1. You need to be sure this is what you want to do. Just because dentistry may provide a nice lifestyle doesn't mean you're going to enjoy being hunched over in people's mouths all day. It's not for everyone.

    2. You need a LOR from a dentist.

    But I agree, more important is preparing for the DAT and doing well. It looks like you know what you need to do. Good luck
  5. Demeter

    Demeter Senior Member

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    Obama care will probably impact dentistry as well. No one really knows what will happen. Just something to consider because you make a career change.
  6. 12345a

    12345a

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    ohhhhhh man......the mav's couldn't close last night. A golden opportunity lost, what a shame.
  7. alanan84

    alanan84 D1

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    Eh, it's not freak out time yet. They'll split the 2 games in SA and get home court back
  8. dentalWorks

    dentalWorks Nights Watchmen

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    LMAO !!! I dunno am I the only one who found this to be funny as hell??? Dude, why do you care what the pre-allopathics think of you if you switched from pre-med to pre-dent? They woun't lose any respect for you cause they never gained any respect from you in the first place.... And here you are WANTING to switch careers yet your too ashamed to let your "other side" know of your true motives... How are you going to be a dentist in the future when your ashamed of telling your pre-health "buddies" that your going into the field?

    While there is nothing wrong with going into a career solely for the money, but you do realize that dentistry WILL STILL be affected by these new healthcare reforms... Read about mid-level providers and you'll know what I am talking about.

    Pre-dent vs pre-med is exactly the same as far as undergrad classes go. Only difference is the MCAT vs DAT. Even the application cycle for dental schools opens up around the same time medical school apps open up (early June of every year)

    Those are solid numbers, take the DAT, and you shouldn't have a problem gettin into a dental school.... Just don't show up to the interview and repeat the first few paragraphs of this thread


    There is nothing wrong with having volunteering hours in the medical field. You can be honest about this and say "I used to be pre-med and now I decided to switch to dentistry".... No one will hammer you for this. But THEY MOST LIKELY WILL ASK YOU WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO SWITCH... come up with a "good" answer

    1) You can still apply early June, take your DAT late June so that by time AADSAS verifies your application, they can send it out the same time your DAT scores are available
    2) You CAN, there is no law against it, but if your going to be honest about it in the application cycle (which I highly encourage you to do), each school WILL ask you why are you applying to our dental school AND medical school? do you just want a healthcare career without an exact direction of where you'll end up? .... be prepared to answer these types of questions
    3) yes you can, ECs are supposed to show that you care for your community (volunteering for example).... so what difference does it make if its medically / dentally or non-healthcare related
    4) you'll be fine, there are MANY pre-meds who switched over to dentistry and still got accepted. I don't see anything wrong with your application, just your attitude about why your switching from pre-med to pre-dent should be kept to yourself only lol

    Good luck with everything
  9. samurai361

    samurai361

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    I think you just need to decide what you want to do instead of this applying to med and dental schools both at the same time bullcrap. Dental schools lose a lot of money to people who switch out at the last minute and it's unfair to others who diligently apply year after year with no success because they gave the spot to someone who doesn't even know what they want. :rolleyes: You need to just choose what you want to do because you'll lose a lot of money and time applying to both schools. It doesn't look good AT ALL in the admissions cycle if you're not committed to the field. To go places in America you have to show that you truly want it, and you want it bad.
  10. Shipponz

    Shipponz

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    I went to UMDNJ symposium today and i read the stats you have. Even though i am going to start undergrad, you have...

    -Good Gpa
    -Good Research

    You need
    -At least 25 hrs shadowing which is bare minimum. However, some schools require at least 100.
    -It is not good to apply for both Med school and Dental school at the same time because it tells the admissions committee at the school that you are juggling between two progressions and you won't be committed to the profession you are seeking.
    -Get at least a 20 AA and 20 TS along with your GPA you will get interviews at most schools.
    -Another tip i received from UMDNJ admissions counselor was that during the interview talk about my experience thought shadowing and what makes dentistry pleasing to you.

    She gave us this the example:
    About two years ago they had an applicant who had high GPA and High DAT but when they had an interview with the applicant, the applicant never expressed his interest in Dentistry to them and the applicant got rejected.


    *Don't Qoute me on this because i got this from a New Jersey Dental School symposium*
  11. judottt

    judottt

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    Why don't you just specialize in a medical field that insurance usually doesn't cover? Going into dentistry isn't likely going to be the miracle cure you are trying to get.

    It is lame that you made a whole new screen name to hide yourself from the
    pre-allos.

    But don't waste your time and money with applications until you know what you want to do. It would also be weird when you ask for LOR. Are you going to have two sets of people or ask the same people to write you two different ones?
  12. Slack3r

    Slack3r Sicker than your average

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    Lol. Like what? Cosmetic surgery? :laugh:
  13. 12345a

    12345a

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    lol, the OP sounds like he knows what he wants. and I don't think he's planning on applying to both because he said

    I would actually be interested in knowing which specialty or specialties you're thinking of.
  14. samurai361

    samurai361

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    yeah he also said in the same post:

    So there... Plus the person has 0 experience in the field (also mentions this in his first post, not like just making this up. :rolleyes:) and his prime reasons for going into the field was to try to evade big government regulations (??), and before you say he didn't say that, it's right here in his first post as well:

  15. JJameson

    JJameson

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    Thank you very much. Unfortunately I am still very confused with what I want to do with my life, but the more I think about it the more appealing dentistry (particularly oral surgery or orthodon) gets everday. I was in the OR today and yet again the Fellows starting bitching about reimbursements being cut. Medicine just seems to keep getting worse and you can see that even most of the attendings are unhappy. Furthermore it is turf war out there as everyone keeps infringing on everyone else for work--its getting messy.

    Even though several people have pointed out correctly that insurance will likely affect dental also, I am under the impression that dentistry is not 100% relient on insurance. Furthermore, the biggest problem is MEDICARE and to a small percent medicaid. Medicare covers only very limited dental coverage and so most older people either have to have private insurance or pay out of pocket. Imagine charging $2500 for a procedure and getting reimbursed by medicare for $250, it happens. I see dentistry as a safe haven from government control as unlike every medical specialty except Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology (derm is near impossible to match into by the way) your whole money market is not 100% insurance based. If I can get into Orthodontics, no more insurance BS all the time:laugh::laugh:.

    Back to applying: so correct me if I am wrong but
    1) Take DAT the end of June
    2) Yes, UMich is my state school, if I apply to both the dental and med schools at say UMICH, Columbia, NYU, and Tufts---will each of the adcom find out---is there any way to keep them from finding out or should only apply to 1 program from each; I'm just worried something will happen and I may have to fall back on medicine although I really want to specialize in dentistry (most likely Ortho)...heck at this point a GP in dentistry could pull more and have MUCH more autonomy than a specialist in medicine
    3) Find a dentist to shadow for three days (8 hours a day so total of like 24 hours and get a LOR)
    4) Have my LOR write general letters, which should not be a problem bc they have already written some for national copetitions
    5) Come up with a good reason other than I want to be in healtcare and Dentistry looks more viable to make more money and only work 40 hours.......could I focus on autonomy since there really isn't any more of that in medicine these days?

    Miss anything; thanks you guys are great
  16. dentalWorks

    dentalWorks Nights Watchmen

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    My responses (or yelling) = blue

  17. Slack3r

    Slack3r Sicker than your average

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    You're operating under the assumption that what's happened/happening in medicine won't happen in dentistry. As you've seen, it doesn't take much for the govt to decide a profession is greedy and needs to be put in its place. Care to gamble your future on whether or not this will happen with dentistry too?
  18. Nova4484

    Nova4484

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    Dentistry has one of the highest suicide rates/drug usage among the health professions...if not the highest. The precise reason is people go into it thinking they can make lots of $$$...which is fine. But you need to make sure you can tolerate looking into someones mouth 8hrs/day 5 days a week. There are other ways to make $$$ (banking etc.) just make sure your not gonna be that percentage that hangs yourself because you spent 160k on your education and 4yrs of your life doing something you absolutely hate. If you do your not only gonna do a poor job...and your gonna suck at life...
  19. 12345a

    12345a

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    wrong.
  20. Destiny11

    Destiny11

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    Not to be mean...but this world can use less health professionals like you who would change his or her dream for the $$$! Do you have any other reason for want to change to dentistry besides $$$ and lifestyle? Honestly, it's because of the way our health system is set up (very business like)...that's why there is such an access gap in the country. If our health professionals mostly care about $$$ and lifestyle, then the people who have desperate need for health care definitely have no chance!

    Also, do you really know what the health care bill will do to medicine?...or did you just hear someone talk about it? Honestly I think you should pursue your dream and let it play out!
  21. Slack3r

    Slack3r Sicker than your average

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    Really? You know why those people commit suicide? Pretty insightful of you.

    Save it for your personal statement. :rolleyes:
  22. 12345a

    12345a

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    give it a rest, I would rather have a competent doctor who wanted my money rather than someone half as intelligent who wanted to "help people" ...we're all looking for a job....and dentistry turns out to be one of the better one's
  23. JJameson

    JJameson

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    Wow you sound strikingly similar to the idealistic freshman who pervade the pre-allo. Every competent doctor worries about their salary, in fact every medical student and fellow that I know from my school's medical school is greatly concerned with their pay. While its not the number #1 reason to go into dentistry or medicine it is almost always in the top 2. Maybe when you enter dentistry school you will understand this more.
  24. 12345a

    12345a

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    or maybe when mommy and daddy stop paying the bills....(whichever comes first)
  25. Destiny11

    Destiny11

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    Alright, I am not going to debate about this issue. It is your choice and I hope you really thought it through. Also, to answer your question, the only thing dental schools like about you right now is your GPA. As of right now, you need a good DAT score and dental experience. Most importantly, you need to have a good explanation for your interviewer of why you decided to change from medicine to dentistry, since everything you did so far is geared towards medical school.
  26. txlonghorn

    txlonghorn

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    I think you have an outstanding chance to get into any dental school that you want to attend. Just study for the DAT, which I think you will ace, and get some shadowing in. These are just some of the requirements to get in.

    As for when you apply, do not tell them you want to go into dentistry because you do not like what is happening to the healthcare field. I would just make up some nice story about how you never considered dentistry until you visited the dentist, learned more about the profession, and then after shadowing learned that you loved the idea of becoming a dentist.

    Don't listen to many of the idealist that say you should not be going in for the money. I mean, the whole point of becoming a dentist is to support yourself and you family. The added benefit is that you get to help others.
  27. NonTradHopeful

    NonTradHopeful

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    LOL...you do realize that ortho is just as difficult for a dental student to match into as derm is for a medical student (if not more difficult). You have to be in the top percentiles of your class, etc...

    Also, orthodontics does deal with insurance to some degree...not as much as general dentistry, but it does deal with insurance.

    Please shadow a dentist first, find out what it's really like...and then decide if you want to pursue it. If money is your primary motivation, know that even after medicare reimbursement cuts, obama-care, etc...specialty medical doctors still make just as much or more than dentists. So if money is your primary motivation...relax, both fields are good for that. However, dentists do enjoy a more relaxed work week (normally).

    Shadow a dentist, then compare it to your shadowing experience of a medical doctor. THEN decide which one you enjoy the most. If you're a smart person (and your stats show that you are), you'll do financially well in either field...so it might as well be a field that you enjoy practicing ...every...single...day...of..the...week.

    Good luck!
  28. DrDM

    DrDM

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    Kinda a bold statement. Ortho isn't that hard... It's a formula you follow to get in.

    Medicine has CRAZY applicants that are nuts over everything.....
  29. dentalWorks

    dentalWorks Nights Watchmen

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    *wheels popcorn machine*
    [​IMG]
  30. Destiny11

    Destiny11

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    Have you thought about podiatric medicine? They get paid very well and you already have the MCAT for it.
  31. dentalWorks

    dentalWorks Nights Watchmen

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    you'll only get the OP's attention if you also add that pediatric doctors make alot of money and won't be affected by the new health care reform :smuggrin:
  32. xjmgenius

    xjmgenius

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    Using dentistry as your backup plan is just wrong, I feel offended :mad:, jk, who didn't?
    Applying both medical and dental schools makes you seem you don't know what you want, and could be a drawback for both. Unless you lied on your application :D...
    :thumbup:
    :thumbup:

    Dude, make up your mind. :smuggrin:
  33. Hordel

    Hordel

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    My opinion, you REALLY need to decide what field you want to apply too SOON!! I think if you apply to med and then the following year switch to dent they might overlook it IF you had a good excuse. Yet, applying to both Med and Dent in THE SAME YEAR is a REALLY bad idea!! Honestly, put yourself in their shoes. The people who run these programs have dedicated their LIFE to their specific field and they are NOT going to look at someone who doesn't know what they want to do and is applying to both med and dent favorably! I think that is about the WORST thing you could do. If you go this route despite your VERY strong stats I could see you NOT getting in ANYWHERE (which would be a shame because you seem bright and your stats are VERY good!). So in case my opinion on the matter isn't crystal clear........DO NOT APPLY TO BOTH IN THE SAME YEAR!!!! I don't know any of this for a fact, but if I were in their shoes and I saw an app like yours, despite it being strong, I would opt not to select you until you choose what you want DMD/DDS or MD! I do wish you the best of luck and hope you decide which field you want to pursue soon!!:D
  34. loveoforganic

    loveoforganic -Account Deactivated-

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    JJameson, we're going to get you, you sneaky sonuva b****! If you don't martyr yourself with medicine, there will be hell to pay! Hell I say!

    Edit: Rushing blindly into a career probably ain't the smartest thing. Just saying. Honest advice - take a gap year
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2010
  35. jslo85

    jslo85 OMS-3

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    I skimmed the thread and thought I'd put down a few of my own thoughts.

    I started out as pre-med and began considering dentistry after graduation from my UG as another option to consider. I was mainly looking at the career paths in front of me practically because I had no idea what I really wanted to do. From that point to now, which is 3 years I have practically tried most things through a process of trial and error (not recommended btw) in being certified as an EMT-B, working as a clinic coordinator at an inner city homeless youth clinic, clinic assistant at a dermatology office, dental shadowing, medical preceptorships, etc. I can safely say that medicine is the right path for me because I would not be satisfied doing anything else. Dental is by far and large the more "practical" route and will always be but as a member above wrote, I really can't see myself looking in someone's mouth 8 hours a day for 5 days a week.

    It's honestly what matters most for you but I'd spend some honest to God introspective thinking and some dental shadowing to see whether you can see yourself doing this for the rest of your life. The pay is comparable if not higher than the average primary care physician plus you get to dictate your own hours for the most part and are never on call. You can sustain a family life and be there for things like watching your kids grow up and all of that good stuff. There are many medical students who have told me that had they known the hell they had to go through for medical school, they would have chose dentistry instead and the only thing keeping them going is that they're already knee deep in #$^& and that plowing ahead in hopes of better days is the only "consolation". Then again my mentor is a plastic surgeon who started out as an engineer turned DMD turned physician turned reconstructive surgeon. He's happy where he is right now and wouldn't have done anything differently. Go figure.

    Another point you need to consider is if you are so influenced by what Obama is doing to our healthcare system, you can't expect that dentistry won't be next on the "chopping block". The switch to dental from pre-med is quite simple as most of the pre-reqs overlap with the exception that most if not all dental schools require a year's worth of Anatomy and Physiology and the DAT. The DAT itself in my opinion is an easier exam than the MCAT based on how the entire test is free response questions for the sciences but I struggled initially with the PAT. I have a 30 MCAT and a 20 AA DAT with a pretty even distribution among all the sections and shadowing hours and all the pre-reqs done but I'll take my chances with medicine because I wouldn't feel satisfied any other way.

    Good luck
  36. dentalWorks

    dentalWorks Nights Watchmen

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    LMAO !!!! :lol::lol:

    THE PRE-MEDS WANT REVENGE !!!!

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